2024-03-20: Avian Science Notes March newsletter

Table of Contents:

  • Youth Activities at the 2024 Greater California Society of Poultry Fanciers (GCSPF) Show
  • Emergency Regulatory Disease found in California


Youth Activities at the 2024 Greater California Society of Poultry Fanciers (GCSPF) Show

          The last weekend in February found Dr. Bradley and her assistant, Dave Emery in Fresno, for the GCSPF Show.   Janet Moore and family assisted in the Friday night set up the biosecurity booth, Avian Bowl competition area, and 2 separate Poultry Showmanship competition areas.  


Caption: Youth Building was packed for Showmanship.

            Early Saturday, fueled by Mrs. Moore’s coffee and donuts, all systems were GO in the Gem & Mineral building.    71 Showmen (4-H, FFA, and independent) were registered.    Dr. Bradley and Aaron Teagle judged the Senior, Intermediate, Junior, Novice, and Mini showmen.   Dr. Bradley’s former post-doc, Dr. Brigid McCrea flew in from Auburn University.  She obtained photo-release forms for 1 flight of Senior Showmen and shot video as Dr. Bradley judged the flight.   She will be using the edited video to train Alabama 4-H leaders in the proper way to judge 4-H Poultry Showmanship.

Aaron Teagle

Caption: Judge Aaron Teagle and GCSPF Youth Program Coordinator, Mrs. Janet Moore, acknowledge some of the youngest Showmanship winners.

             Dr. Linda Teagle ran the sign-in of Senior Avian Bowl Teams and the administration of the written test (used to seed the senior teams).   Big egg baskets of thanks to both Teagles for their contributions to each year’s event.

Dr Linda Teagle

Caption: Doesn’t seak the camera, but always promoting Avian Bowl – Dr. Linda Teagle.

             In Junior Avian Bowl, the Eggsperts (one of FOUR teams from Madera County & coached by octagenarian, Mrs. Pat Strimling) had a loss in their 2nd game, but proceeded to run the table in the Losers’ Bracket.   The Squab Squad (Merced & Alameda) was undefeated as they faced off with the Eggsperts.   The Squab Squad duo of Tess Morici and Reagan Downey captured the Junior title.   They certainly benefitted from being coached by 2023 National Champion Avian Bowl Coach, Samantha Downey.

Squab Squad

Caption: Tess Morici Miller and Reagan Downey - the Squab Squad - stopped their competitors and took the Junior title.

              Senior Avian Bowl had a great mix of entries this year with 4-H teams from Fresno, Madera (2 teams), and Ventura, as well as 2 FFA teams from Fresno.    This was the first time an FFA team had entered the Qualifier.    While the FFA members did have the Manual before the competition, they did not have that long a study period.    They pledged to keep studying and return in 2025.

The Squabblers

Caption: The Squabblers, 2024 California Avian Bowl Champions, flash their buckles.  L-R: Zuzu Haring,  Ean Ramirez,  Melanie Sechrist, and  Samuel Belik

               Project Chicken, another Madera team coached by Mrs Strimling, appeared destined to take the Senior title.   However, they went down to the Squabblers (Ventura) in Game 4.  Then Project Chicken emerged from the Losers’ Bracket to defeat the Squabblers.   So each team with one loss, met for the Championship game.   Project Chicken was ahead by 5 pts when the final Q was read.   The one Squabbler who had yet to answer a Q correctly in that game, rang in with the correct answer.   That entitled the Squabblers to the 10 pt Bonus Q, which they answered correctly.    So once again, Mrs. Kitty Beckman is taking a Ventura County team to Louisville.    This year’s Senior Champions are Capt. Zuzu Haring (Ojai), Ean Ramirez (Oxnard), Samuel Belik (Simi Valley), and Melanie Sechrist (Simi Valley).


Emergency Regulatory Disease found in California

       Last month Avian Metapneumovirus (aMPV) Type A was discovered in our state.   Most readers probably  have not heard of the disease.    The symptoms can resemble those of other respiratory diseases, incl. Newcastle Disease.    In order to identify the disease, the virus must be isolated.   Thank goodness for the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System, as its  staff members can run  such isolations.    Infected flocks can have a high percentage of sick birds, but mortality levels can vary.   Wild birds (yes, THOSE birds - AGAIN) are thought to be the source of the disease in the United States.   We have no vaccine in this country for aMPV.   So you know the way to protect your birds - BIOSECURITY.    

    My thanks to our State Veterinarian, Dr. Annette Jones, for allowing me to share her thoughts:

 “History – MPV is known to circulate in much of the world, but is considered foreign to the U.S. The virus can cause significant respiratory and reproductive disease in chickens, turkeys and ducks, and therefore is on the CA and federal list of emergency regulatory diseases. From about 1998 to 2008, Minnesota experienced an outbreak of Type C which was eradicated via biosecurity, surveillance, controlled marketing, and vaccination. 

 Type B has been recently detected in Virginia and North and South Carolina, and Type A was identified in CA. There is growing evidence that MPV will be found in other states as well. The significance is not fully understood at this time.”

      Keep your birds safe.    Do NOT leave your birds outdoors, unless they are in flight pen with a SOLID roof.



July 24 - Avian Bowl at the Orange County Fair.   Competition guidelines are available online at

  • www.ocfair.com
  • Only on-line registration.
  • Cool off this July and join Dr. Bradley, as well as the California State Avian Bowl Champions, for some good competition down in the OC.   You will also enjoy being at one of the best organized fairs in the state!

Primary Category

Secondary Categories

Avian Influenza